Celebrating 30 years of life with an epic Vegan Lemon Lavender Cake! This cake starts with a moist and delicious lemon and lavender flavored cake filled with layers of eggless lemon curd and dairy-free lemon lavender frosting. Then, it gets lightly frosted and topped with dried lemons & dried lavender for a beautiful and delicious vegan layer cake!
Wow, I can't believe I'm 30!
My 20's were full of so much change, growth, and honestly- a whole lot of fun. My personal life was filled with career highs (in my past career as a technical recruiter), heartbreak, taking on a plant-based lifestyle, loss, new adventures, moving across the country with my boyfriend to Seattle, and of course- my favorite memory- starting SGTO!
While I will always look upon my 20's fondly, I'm excited to enter my 30's with a greater sense of who I am, my values, and the kind of life I want to live. I definitely plan on having just as much fun and just as many adventures...and you better believe my 30's will be filled with LOTS more vegan cakes & lemon flavored desserts!
Steps to make a vegan lemon layer cake
Alright, so enough talk about me- Let's get down to this cake. As you all may remember, I made my very first layer cake for SGTO's 2 year anniversary- the best Vegan Funfetti Cake! The steps to make this cake are very similar, however we are making this lemon layer cake with a lemon curd filling using my Vegan Lemon Curd recipe for a lemony twist. Plus, you all must remember my Vegan Lemon Lavender Donuts which are the true inspiration behind this epic flavor combo!
First, make the 6-inch cake layers
For this recipe, I decided to stick to 3 6-inch cake layers using 6-inch cake pans. It makes the perfect amount of cake for 8-10 people!
First, make the lemon lavender cake batter and bake the cakes. Then, flip onto a wire rack to rest until completely cool.
While you can frost cakes at this point, I actually prefer to wrap each cake layer in plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Wrapping it in plastic wrap helps to seal in the moisture so the lemon cake will stay moist even in the fridge.
Then, make the lemon curd
My Vegan Lemon Curd is best made a day ahead of time, so I like to make it while the lemon cake is cooling. This step is totally optional, but if you decide to make it the recipe and instructions are in that blog post!
The most important thing to remember is the eggless lemon curd must sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours (and ideally 12-24) before using so it's firmed up enough to add to the cake. Otherwise, it will be too runny and warm to add to a frosted lemon cake.
The next day, make the frosting!
The next day, make the vegan lemon lavender buttercream!
This recipe is based off my vanilla frosting that I used in my Lemon Olive Oil Cupcakes, but we are adding in fresh lemon juice and lavender paste in place of vanilla. Make sure to cream the butter and shortening first to remove any clumps and always sift powdered sugar for the fluffiest vegan frosting!
How to assemble a layer cake
Now that we have the vegan lemon lavender cakes, lemon lavender frosting, and vegan lemon curd cake filling prepped, the last step is to assemble the cake.
Start by adding a layer of parchment paper to a cake turntable or cake stand so the cake doesn't stick. This is crucial or it will be really hard to move the cake to a cake stand or cut slices. Then, add the first layer of cake to the stand with parchment paper.
Add on about ⅓-1/2 cup frosting and spread evenly to coat the cake. Then, use a piping bag to add a border of frosting to the edge of the cake. This helps to prevent the lemon curd from spilling out. Finish it off by spreading about 2 Tbsp of lemon curd in the center.
Then, follow these same steps with the second layer!
To put it all together add another ½ cup of frosting to the top of the cake and smooth. Then, frost the outside of the cake with a "crumb coat" layer. At this point you can keep the cake lightly frosted for a naked cake style as I did or add more frosting for a fully frosted cake.
If you want a cake with more frosting. Simply add the cake with the crumb coat to the fridge and let sit 30 minutes. Then, remove and keep adding frosting until frosted to desired amount! If you do this, you'll need about ½ cup more frosting than the recipe includes.
FAQ & Substitutions:
Can I make this lemon cake gluten-free?
I personally have not tried it, but I've had great success using Bob's Red Mill 1:1 GF flour and would recommend only trying this recipe with a 1:1 GF flour mix.
I can't find lavender paste- are there any other options?
Definitely! The lavender paste gives this cake a very subtle lavender flavor. However, you can use dried lavender, grind it or blend it, and then add it to the sugar used in the lemon lavender cakes. Their isn't a good lavender substitute for the frosting, so I would skip it in the frosting if you can't find lavender paste. I do want to note, the lavender flavor is this cake is VERY subtle, but it perfectly compliments the more intense lemon flavor!
Do I need shortening for the frosting?
Yes and no. Shortening makes this frosting MUCH smoother and fluffier compared to just using vegan butter, but it can also easily be subbed 1:1 for more vegan butter. If you want to avoid palm oil altogether, I recommend using Miyokos vegan butter, however I used Earth Balance.
What cake pans work best?
Here are the 6-inch cake pans I used to make this recipe. They were great! My #1 tip is always use a lighter colored cake pan (not black) as a darker cake pan could potentially burn your cake because they absorb heat more quickly.
How do I store leftover cake?
The best way to store leftover cake is to slice it and store it in a closed container between sheets of parchment paper in the freezer. Vegan cake can be stored in freezer for up to 1 month and just needs to be defrosted at room temperature for 30 minutes-1 hour before eating again. This is the BEST way to preserve the moist texture of cake.
If you are going to eat the leftover cake within 1-2 days, you can also store it in the fridge, but make sure to store it unsliced and wrap any exposed cake in plastic wrap or the fridge will dry the cake out.
I truly hope you all love this Vegan Lemon Lavender Cake with lemon curd & lemon lavender buttercream frosting! It's officially tied with my Vegan Cookie Cake for the best Birthday cake ever! Honestly, I think it'd make a pretty amazing homemade bridal shower, wedding, or baby shower cake too. Enjoy!
Looking for more vegan cake & cupcake recipes? Check out these SGTO favorites!
Lemon Lavender Cake
- 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour (218 grams)
- ¾ tsp baking soda (3 grams)
- ¼ tsp baking powder (1 gram)
- ¼ tsp salt (1 gram)
- ¾ cup oat milk (177 ml)
- ⅓ cup olive oil (78 ml)
- ¾ cup organic sugar (155 grams)
- ⅓ cup lemon juice (78 ml, the juice of about 2 lemons)
- 1.5 tsp lavender paste
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest (6 grams or zest of 1 lemon)
Cake filling & frosting
- 4 Tbsp vegan lemon curd
- 1 cup vegan butter, room temperature (226 grams)
- ½ cup shortening
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice (33 grams)
- 1 tsp lavender paste (6 grams, optional)
- 2 ½- 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted (250-300 grams, measure and then sift)
- 6-8 dried lemon slices (optional)
- dried lavender (optional)
Make the Lemon Lavender Cakes & Lemon Curd:
- First, make the lemon lavender cakes (ideally the day before frosting and serving). To prep, line 3 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper on the bottom and grease the sides of the pans. Set aside and preheat the oven to 350F.
- Add the all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to a small bowl and sift together. Set aside.
- Next, add the oat milk, olive oil, organic sugar, lemon juice, lavender paste, and lemon zest to a large mixing bowl and gently whisk together.
- Once mixed, add in the sifted dry ingredients and mix together JUST until a batter forms and all streaks of flour are gone. It is important to NOT overmix the cake batter or too much gluten will form.
- Pour the batter evenly into the 3 parchment-lined cake pans. Before baking, lightly tap each pan on the counter to release any large air bubbles and even out the batter. Then, add the cakes to the oven and bake for 28-30 minutes until cooked through and lightly browned on top.
- Remove the cakes and let cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes. Run a knife along the edge of each pan to loosen any cake that may be stuck. Then, flip each cake onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cakes are cooling, make the lemon curd and then add to the fridge to set for at least 2 hours before using.
- Once the cakes have cooled, you can frost them. However, I strongly recommend making the cakes a day ahead of time, wrapping each cake in plastic wrap, and storing in the fridge for 12-24 hours before frosting.
The next day, make the frosting:
- To make the frosting, first add the room temperature vegan butter and shortening to a mixing bowl and whip together until all clumps are gone and the ingredients are fluffy (about 5 minutes). Then, add in the lemon juice and lavender paste and whip into the frosting for about 30 seconds.
- Next, gradually add the sifted powdered sugar ½ cup at a time and whip together until the frosting has reached the desired sweetness level. I prefer 2 ½ cups powdered sugar, but feel free to add more for a sweeter frosting.
- Once all the powdered sugar has been added, continue to whip the frosting for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Then, set aside and remove the cakes and lemon curd from the fridge to frost & assemble the cake.
Frost & Assemble the Cake:
- First, add a layer of parchment paper to a cake turntable and top with the first 6-inch cake. Add about ⅓-1/2 cup of vegan frosting on top and use a cake spatula to evenly smooth this frosting on top.
- Next, use a piping bag filled with frosting to form a border of frosting along the edge of the cake. Once the border is on, fill the center with 2 Tbsp of vegan lemon curd and spread evenly over the frosting, making sure not to add on top of the frosting border.
- Continue this process with the next layer of cake. Then, add ½ cup of frosting to the top of the cake and smooth
- Next, add on the crumb coat of frosting. Add a light layer of frosting to the sides of the cake, making sure to fill in the gaps between layers with frosting. Then, use a cake scraper to smooth it out.
- Once the crumb coat is complete, add the cake back to the fridge and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before serving. This cake is a "naked cake" meaning it only has a crumb coat layer of frosting, but feel free to add more frosting if you wish.
- After 30 minutes, remove the cake from the fridge and garnish as desired. I used dried lemon slices and dried lavender. Then, cut into 8-10 slices and serve!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 605 caloriesTotal Fat: 37.8 gCarbohydrates: 66.6gSugar: 47.8gProtein: 3.2g